Using links to model beams on an elastic foundation

Gap (compression-only) link objects may be used to model vertical deflection, including that of beams on an elastic foundation. Gap links may be applied as follows:

  1. Define link properties through Define > Section Properties > Link/Support Properties.

  2. Select the joint to which the link will be assigned, then model the link through Draw > Draw 1 Joint Link.


Please note that both links and springs are available for modeling, though links are more powerful because they enable nonlinear behavior and may be used either as supports or as connections between two non-grounded joints. Nonlinear link properties are only active when running a nonlinear load case.


  • Jessica Napier, rewrite per 3-31-14 email from Bob.

    This should be re-written for line-spring assignments that may or may not use link properties. The fact that links are automatically generated for the analysis model at the
    discretized joints should be mentioned. Set a task for rewriting.